Where do I start with Wheatley?! Wheatley is 7 months old and we are all in love with him. We brought him home just before the Easter holidays after literally years of research as my son has asthma and I am allergic to dogs. While buying a labradoodle was never a guarantee, I felt that buying an Australian Labradoodle from a reputable breeder would minimise the chances of allergies. I am really pleased to say that there has been no reaction at all - even my Dad (who is extremely allergic and comes out in rash when my Mam's dog licks him) has no reaction. This is more than we even hoped.
Before Wheatley came home we went up to visit him, a long drive but well worth making the effort. We loved spending time with the puppies and were very taken with Summer, who had a very endearing way of nudging us and was really affectionate. I could have quite happily taken Summer home!
Three weeks later we went up to collect Wheatley, it was a long journey home for him (7 hours) but there was hardly a peep from him beyond the odd little cry. We were reminded of driving home with the boys as new-borns - driving so carefully!
Once home we opened the puppy carrier and Wheatley was straight out! Very lively and exploring our living room, not timid or nervous at all! He slept through in his crate that night, we only had one unsettled night - the second night - and he only woke once or twice even then. He still sleeps in his crate upstairs in my son's room and goes to bed quite happily. He does snooze the earlier evening away on the settee between my husband and myself.
Wheatley has a gorgeous temperament - he’s a lovely dog and very popular! He has lots of friends! His most endearing habit is that he likes to have his chin resting on us (he's not too fussy who or which body part!), I love this, it's so sweet. He's such a friendly dog too, he loves people and is delighted to see everyone. He's intelligent and learns commands very quickly - he can fetch, sit, give a paw, lie down, shut the door, bark on command, roll over, 'go to bed' (his downstairs crate) and stay, although that's not reliable yet! He learns really quickly and when he is fancying a treat (!) he’ll give us an unasked for display of his talents. He also recognises and fetches his ball, 'pussy cat' and 'rat' toys.
We had an awful time recently, Wheatley had gotten into a bag without our knowledge and ate an ibuprofen tablet - just the one. I wasn’t aware even that ibuprofen was so toxic, I wouldn’t have given it deliberately, but presumed vets might as a standard painkiller, even babies can have ibuprofen! He was in hospital for 4 days on a drip and for a time we did not know if he would live, or if there would be permanent damage, even after he came home his blood levels had increased so we have been very worried. Thankfully, the levels did come down on his last blood sample and it looks as though all will be well.
The guilt and regret have been hard and we are very conscious of medication – when I shop now I make sure any medication goes into my handbag, not a carrier bag. And I compulsively zip up hand bags left open (mine and visitors) – we nearly lost our puppy over a risk that hadn’t even registered on my radar.
Those days when he was at the vets really brought home to us how big a part of our family he is – we’ve only had him a few months and he’s only small but the house felt so empty, we couldn’t wait for him to come home, so many tears when he was at the vets.
He is very cuddly and likes to be close to people, he snuggles in so tightly, he couldn't actually get any closer at times. He loves being stroked and is full of fun and adores playing. I've taken him into work a couple of times and he is like my shadow, you'd think he had been trained to walk to heel (he hasn't). He also adores other dogs – they don’t always adore him though! He is desperate to play and jumps all over my Mam’s long suffering Shih Tzu.
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